I remember my grandfather, Robert J. McIvor, as a kindly and dapper
man who used to sit back and smile as we wandered his backyard on Easter searching
for hidden eggs. I remember him allowing me to be his caddie, when the golf
bag was nearly as big as I was. When I was finally old enough to play, I nearly
beaned him with a ball that teed off the toe of my errant club. And I remember
sitting next to the piano with him as he drew a picture of a human heart and
explained what his heart attack meant. He died suddenly in 1972, an event
especially poignant for me as it was the first family death I had experienced.
As a well-liked physician, he had a huge funeral, and many of the townspeople
from Oakland came to pay their last respects. But memories fade, and although
I have a framed photograph of him in my study, he is not frequently in my
thoughts. But my warm recollections were rekindled when my uncle sent me an
arresting account of an astonishing event in my grandfather's career, written
by the man himself.
McIvor AC. I Remember. JAMA. 2001;285(7):857-858. doi:10.1001/jama.285.7.857